Go Fly a Kite!
Children of all ages are invited to fly a kite this Labor Day weekend high atop Beech Mountain.
The eighth annual Mile High Kite Festival is a free event taking place Sunday, Sept. 5, in the meadow at the top of Beech Mountain next to the Brick Oven Pizzeria.
Festival attendees will fly kites at an altitude of one mile above sea level. It is sponsored by the Beech Mountain Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with the Richmond Air Force kite club from Virginia and the Wings Across Carolina Kiting and Okra Society from Charlotte.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There's no charge for admission, and free kites are given to the first 200 children under 12. There will also be a vendor selling a variety of kites, and folks are welcome to bring their own.
Contests will be held for biggest, smallest and best-decorated kites. All participants receive an official certificate from Beech Mountain Mayor Rick Owen that proclaims: "I flew a kite a mile high at Beech Mountain."
Two members of the Richmond Air Force - Terry Murray and Will Smoot - serve as announcers for the festival, sharing their knowledge of kiting while playing kite-themed music throughout the day.
"This event has really gained in popularity the last few years, and a lot of families come up the mountain and make a weekend of it," says Calder Smoot, the event organizer. "I can't describe how colorful the sky becomes when filled with so many kites. It's a sight to see."
The meadow is divided into two areas: One for exhibitions/demonstrations from the kite clubs and one for the general public. Other activities include: races with kids pulling parachute kites, face painting, and a variety of craft and food vendors.
Festivities for the Mile High Kite Festival weekend begin Saturday, Sept. 4, with a kite maker's competition from 2-4 p.m. Folks are encouraged to enter their homemade kites in the contest, which is judged by members of the two kite clubs.
There's also an all-ages street dance Saturday from 7-9 p.m. in front of town hall. The parking lot is covered with sand and a deejay plays a variety of fun dance music.
For information or lodging options, call (800) 468-5506 or visit: http://www.BeechMtn.com.